Project Slow and Steady

Sfisher

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
El Dorado Hills
State
CA
#1
Well I'm as ready as I'll ever be. I'm ready to start this build. I hope that people don't get bored with my rambling sometimes but I would like to be detailed in this project. I also like pictures. So I'm going to supply plenty. What we have here is my 1984 Scrambler Laredo that I bought in December '08. This is I think what she looked like the first day home.





When I bought her she was in good condition and fairly well built. It had

-Rebuilt 258 with 4.0 head and MPI fuel injection
-AMC 20 with ARB and D30 open. 4.56's
-D300 with 4:1
-T-5
-4" Pro-Comp SUA and 35" Goodyear MTR's

The body was straight and it was really nice.

It had some cheesy stuff like the headlamp grills, two different types of front seats and other stuff that I could do without but hey, I was a Scrambler owner so all was cool.

This was my third Jeep ('86 CJ7 and '85 CJ7) and brings me to the reason for my build title. Each of the first two Jeeps were lost to projects unfinished. Now I am a happily married man, but of course the wife doesn't get too thrilled with the idea of money being put into unfinished projects. So with this Jeep I needed to make sure that it stayed a Jeep and not a toilet to flush money at. So with this one I need to make sure that I am at a steady pace of progress. It can be slow but just steady. So that is where I am at.

Goals:
My ultimate goals for this Jeep are to hang on to it until I'm dead. So I want it done right. Ultimately, I'd love to go 60/14b, 38-40's, LCG suspension and basically bulletproof. I live near the Rubicon so naturally I want to ride the 'con and others like it without real worry. The wife goes with me wheeling and if something breaks then it's not fun for her. So I really want to do as much as I can to see that that doesn't happen. Also, I have twin 4 yr old boys and a 6 yr old daughter. I love to take them too. But if it breaks then the fun factor is lost.

I want to maintain the look of the Scrambler too. I may do some flat fenders and open some wheel wells but it's not getting chopped. I bought it for the big rear end. I'm certainly not going to cut it off.

Limitations:
Ok so I have a few parameters or limitations that I need to adhere to. First of all, I have a two car garage. The Jeep is on one side and the wife's car is on the other. It needs to stay that way. She can stand having the car out temporarily but the longer its out then it becomes and issue. As my father in law tells me: Happy Wife, Happy Life.

Second, my fabrication skills are pretty limited. My mechanical skills are pretty good. I can wrench with not much problem. But my ideas are going to require some fab work. I think I'm realistic and if something is way over my head I'll bring in an expert.

Other then that if you're still awake and not :ZZZ::ZZZ::ZZZ: then I'm ready to go.

Oh one last thing. I'm doing a build thread for two reasons. One, motivation. I think the input from the sight is awesome and will help keep up the pace. Second, I welcome anyone's input and criticism. Bring it!
 

Sfisher

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
El Dorado Hills
State
CA
#2
So over the last few years I've wheeled it pretty well. Here's a pic of the inside of my hood which I use as a trail log for our trips. This is most of them but a few trails were done after this pic, but you get the idea.



Hell Hole Jeep Trail



Chalk Bluff Snow Run



Never really had any major problems. Then last year I was out with a group on Slick Rock Trail near Lake Alpine. That's when the problems started.

First of all, I cracked the frame in two places:





But I didn't know it at the time. After the frame cracked, it allowed the frame to twist more and put the mechanical fan into the radiator and cause a small leak. This of course led to overheating and an otherwise miserable day on the trail. I was able to get off the trail and tow it back home once the wife came and got us.

So as a result of that I obviously knew that I needed to fix the frame and radiator. So I picked up a Ford Contour electric fan, a new aluminum radiator and a Painless Wiring set up for the dual fans from the Contour.



I have to tell you that it is very slick how this fan fits onto a CJ radiator. Especially the stock one. I test fitted it on the stock radiator and it fit like a glove. When I fitted it to the Summit radiator it didn't fit as perfect but was still nice.
 

Sfisher

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
El Dorado Hills
State
CA
#3
So as I'm installing new heater hoses and such to run the new radiator and wiring harness for the fan I start to pull off the old hose from the firewall to the heater core. And of course this happens:

The inlet pops off and pretty much falls out of the firewall. :banghead::banghead:



So of course now I'm going to have to replace the heater core. Which means digging out the dash.



So I get the whole heater box out which isn't that bad really and dig into get the heater core:



Here's what the core looked like. I"m surprised it didn't go sooner looking like that.



So pretty much I have half the dash out and I'm looking at the remnants still in place. I've always wanted to change that dash out. I want original CJ but still make it look cleaner and better.



So with that, I made the decision. Lets kick this thing off. Start a build.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#4
:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

I don't think you'll ever get a complaint around here for explaining in detail and posting lots of PICTURES :drool:

:thumbsup:
 

Sfisher

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
El Dorado Hills
State
CA
#6
So like most CJ owners I have a few things that I never cared for that the previous owners had done. The SRS, the under axles skid plates and the bedliner to name a few on mine. I like spray on bedliners in Jeeps its just that this one wasn't done very well. So as I'm kind of tearing this thing down I want to pull that old liner up for some good stuff.

I've searched around and there certainly doesn't seem to be any easy way of doing it. Most are labor intensive and all are difficult. I've read about people peeling it off, grinding it off, media blasting it and using some airplane stripper goop. So I figured I would try out some old paint stripper that I used last year when I was refinishing my cabinets. Heck it says it works on metal. So I tried it.



After letting it sit for 30 - 45 minutes I tried to scrape it off. It ended up coming off pretty easy.



This area took me probably about five minutes of scraping to get it up. I figured once that stripper dries and I get all the old scraps picked up I would hit it with a braided steel brush on the die grinder.

Any opinions on why I shouldn't keep using the stripper? (Not sure if the wife likes that sentence).
 

Sfisher

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
El Dorado Hills
State
CA
#7
Ok since my last post I tried one more spot and this time I put it on a little bit thicker and let it set just over an hour.



It basically only left a little bit of original paint around the two holes in the picture that are where the bolt holes for the seat are. All the rest is basically exposed to almost brand new looking metal. Unless someone has a reason not to use this stuff I think I'll go with it. That was way too easy. The only thing I could think of is if it left some residue behind but even that I would be able to clean up with an acetone I think.

Thoughts?
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#8
Can't see any reason not to use it. I think you're lucky it's working!
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#9
I'd say that's a sign of two things:

1. bad prep
2. bad quality product

In both cases, you're doing well to get it out of there and do it right. :thumbsup:
 

Sfisher

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
El Dorado Hills
State
CA
#10
I'd say that's a sign of two things:

1. bad prep
2. bad quality product

In both cases, you're doing well to get it out of there and do it right. :thumbsup:
Yeah I definitely think it was both. There are some areas in the bed where it is just coming off its so thin.

I thought this was interesting too when I took out the heater box the original computer was still sitting on top of it. I had a quick double take when I saw the blue oval on the sides of it.



 

twmattox

Legacy Registered User
City
Arcadia
State
IN
#12
I know a lot of people who criticized AMC for using other companies parts (Ford ignitions, GMC steering/alternators, Chrysler transmissions etc). But, I tend to think it was one of the smartest things they did. First, it ensured that parts could be relatively easily obtained (when you are using parts from one of the three largest auto producers in the world). Second, those "big three" had money to spend on research and development...AMC didn't. So, you have parts that you KNOW will work. Third, by not exclusively being tied to one...you can shop all three for the "best" of everything. It is hard to argue against GMC saginaw steering, Ford ignition systems, Chrysler transmissions...though there are possible arguments for some, I tend to think AMC produced their Jeeps using what they believed to be the absolute best parts from the best sources...


Sorry for a small rant on your post. It is looking good and I can't wait to read more. If money falls in place this year, I will be joining you as spring rolls around.....
 

Sfisher

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
El Dorado Hills
State
CA
#13
I know a lot of people who criticized AMC for using other companies parts (Ford ignitions, GMC steering/alternators, Chrysler transmissions etc). But, I tend to think it was one of the smartest things they did. First, it ensured that parts could be relatively easily obtained (when you are using parts from one of the three largest auto producers in the world). Second, those "big three" had money to spend on research and development...AMC didn't. So, you have parts that you KNOW will work. Third, by not exclusively being tied to one...you can shop all three for the "best" of everything. It is hard to argue against GMC saginaw steering, Ford ignition systems, Chrysler transmissions...though there are possible arguments for some, I tend to think AMC produced their Jeeps using what they believed to be the absolute best parts from the best sources...


Sorry for a small rant on your post. It is looking good and I can't wait to read more. If money falls in place this year, I will be joining you as spring rolls around.....
Hey I agree with you. Heck if everything goes as I hope by the end of this build I'll have something from several different manufacturers too (SM420, 14 bolt (GM), 258 block (AMC), 4.0 head and MPI (Chrysler) York compressor (Volvo), Military Humvee taillights (AM General), Shock towers (Ford)).
 

Polarfire

Jeep Aficionado
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Columbia
State
MO
#14
Hey I agree with you. Heck if everything goes as I hope by the end of this build I'll have something from several different manufacturers too (SM420, 14 bolt (GM), 258 block (AMC), 4.0 head and MPI (Chrysler) York compressor (Volvo), Military Humvee taillights (AM General), Shock towers (Ford)).
So basicly just like AMC did! :rotfl:
 

CBRogers

Perpetual Parts Collector
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Yorktown
State
Va
#15
The stripper is a good idea. To make it go better. Add Plastic Film from the kitchen. Somethign like Syran Wrap to cover the stripper. The longer it stays wet the better it works. Also a little heat helps. So if it is a warm day do it in the shade and loosely cover with plastic wrap. It will make the stripper go farther.

Once you get it stripped, put a coat of sealer primer or something like Rustoleum to keep metal from rusting. If you go with rustoleum you will need to re strip before automotive primer but that will be a quick and easy wipe down with Aircraft stripper.

There is a spray called Pickelex or Krud Cutters Must for Rust which can be applied post stripper that will protect bare metal for a few weeks and keep you from having to paint and re-strip. Be sure to neutralize the stripper with a lot of water to keep it from coming out later and ruining a good paint job.

Looks like some work ahead for you though, good luck.


Carl
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#16
Hey I agree with you. Heck if everything goes as I hope by the end of this build I'll have something from several different manufacturers too (SM420, 14 bolt (GM), 258 block (AMC), 4.0 head and MPI (Chrysler) York compressor (Volvo), Military Humvee taillights (AM General), Shock towers (Ford)).
I have a very short list of parts that actually came from AMC:
grill cover, headlight buckets and trim rings
inner fenders
engine block, crank, connecting rods, flywheel, balancer, motor mount brackets
hood
air/heat boxes
wiper motor
most dash components
steering column and horn button
front seat brackets and seat frames
roll bar
t-case
center crossmember
door guts
wiring harness
tailgate brackets
main fuel tank
 

Sfisher

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
El Dorado Hills
State
CA
#17
So as the build is call I'm going slow but steady. I'm still working on getting junk out of the tub. I've muttered this to myself before but I have to say it again. What the freak is with the torx screws! Man I hate them. I'm trying to get the roll bar out and all my knuckles are paying for it with blood and scrapes from banging the sides.



I also purchased my rear Chevy leaves for future use. They are from a '98 half ton. I'm really looking forward to using these 63" Chevy's. I'm thinking I'll probably lose one of the leaves to soften it up a bit but we'll see how it sits when the time comes.



Back out to the garage I go!
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#18
Chev springs...it should ride nice! What total lift are you ending up with, and are there any plans for custom front springs?

You guys talking about what's still AMC on your Scramblers....I'm down to:
Grille
Hood
Tub
Doors
Windshield frame
Tailgate
Frame.

Started out bone stock, and that's all that's left.
 

Sfisher

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
El Dorado Hills
State
CA
#19
Chev springs...it should ride nice! What total lift are you ending up with, and are there any plans for custom front springs?
Well I want this to be a LCG build. But I'm also realistic with somethings too. So I want to try and start with a SUA for the 14 bolt and see how high I sit. Like I said in an earlier post I'm sure I'll remove at least one leaf from the spring pack and maybe two we'll see.

Depending on how that goes and where I get height wise I would like to see if I can make the Dana 60 SUA also. Now I know that this would be a challenge but not impossible. The 60 is set up with the SOA perch set on the housing. This area would need to be removed and basically a new area set right underneath it. I've seen it a few times over on Pirate and I think it might be doable.

If that turns out not to be feasible then I'll go SOA but still try and keep it low. Placing the shackle hangers basically on the front of the bumper and other tricks could help with that. Heck who knows I could do a SUA in the rear and SOA in the front.

I'm not against trimming fenders in the rear. In fact if it goes as plan that is what I intend to do. However, I still like classic lines so there wont be anything crazy. ttrdiablo's build is a testament of sweet cut fenders that look good and are functional. http://www.cj-8.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24153
 

Sfisher

Basic User
CJ-8.com Member
City
El Dorado Hills
State
CA
#20
So has anyone ever used a soda blaster instead of a sand blaster? I picked one up at Harbor Freight for use on this project. I've seen videos on YouTube of them but have never actually used one. Looks like they work well but we'll have to see. I'm looking forward to blasting something and not having to worry about the huge mess that comes with it.



Hope it works!!:fingerscrossed::fingerscrossed:
 
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